With the season over, Frank Martin and his staff have moved their attention to recruiting, and they're currently pursuing several prospects. I'd like to share a few thoughts/observations on some of them.
Recently Committed Prospects
Duane Notice. Notice is a three-star SG out of CT who picked Carolina over Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA). He's not a bluechipper, but he's got a reputation as a tough, high-character kid with work ethic who has shown the ability to score the ball. Given his work ethic, he built a good relationship with Martin and his staff and seems ready to come in and earn playing time.
Jaylen Shaw. Shaw is a two-star PG out of Hartsville. Clemson and Tulane were our primary competitors for his services. As his ranking suggests, Shaw is not a bluechip prospect, either. However, he showed decided improvement during his senior season, which led to the high-major offers from Clemson and Carolina. His passing ability is particularly desirable to Martin, considering our deficiencies in the area this past season.
Uncommitted Prospects High on Our List
Darryl Reynolds. The consensus three-star Worcester, MA PF holds offers from Seton Hall, Villanova, and Utah. The Gamecocks could do worse than to beat Villanova for a prospect, and Reynolds plays at a position of major need. Michael Carrera and Lakeem Jackson were the only forwards to make a meaningful contribution to last year's (meager) success, and Jackson will be gone next year. Moreover, like Desmond Ringer, Reynolds would provide more of a classic tall PF to complement Carrera's smaller, yet feisty mold. Reynolds visited recently and reported that USC is his leader.
Demetrius Henry. Another PF who is either a three- or a four-star depending on the service, Henry has a refined game and is the most highly sought-after prospect on our board. He visited recently with his mother. Mom, apparently, thought it went well:
S/O to University of South Carolina for the outstanding hospitality that they showed to me and my son Demetrius Henry, Coach Evans much love— andrea dawson (@chellslonglegs) March 23, 2013
Getting some support from the family is important in this one, because one of the problems South Carolina faces here is that Henry is seriously considering an offer from Miami, which is close to home for him. There's undoubtedly a lot of pressure on him to play for the 'Canes, to say nothing of the fact that he'd be playing for an up-and-coming program. Keep your fingers crossed that Martin and Henry's mother, an Augusta resident, can sway him to move to Columbia, because he'd have a big impact on our team. The other positive here is that Martin began recruiting Henry while he was at Kansas St. and thus has a long-time relationship with him.
Other Potential Targets
Shadell Millinghaus. Millinghaus is a guard with good size. He's rated the 286th prospect in the country by 247's composite rating system. However, Millinghaus apparently is struggling with academic issues, and it's possible that his ratings might be a bit more respectable if not for the skepticism regarding his ability to get into college. He's regarded as a guy with solid ball-handling, passing, and leadership abilities, as well as developing shooting skills. He's a good defender and rebounder for his position. He'd be a good option if he comes through academically.
Leroy Fludd. Fludd is an athletic SF with a prototype 6'6 frame. Looks like another good prospect, but like Millinghaus, he apparently has an academic issue of some sort that has kept him from receiving an offer as of yet.
Reggie Theus, Jr. Theus is the son of former NBA standout Reggie Theus, Sr., who starred for the Bulls and Kings in the 80s. Theus, Sr. has also held a variety of coaching positions coming out of the Rick Pitino coaching tree. The son isn't regarded as being the same kind of prospect dad was, but Theus, Jr. is a solid three-star SF with an offer from Seton Hall. He doesn't look quite as impressive to me as Fludd, but then he doesn't have the academic baggage. Whether the Gamecocks end up taking remains to be seen. Numbers will play a role, as will whether Theus follows his dad to Cal St. Northridge.
Obviously, when you add the players who committed prior to the season's end, we could very well end up taking seven or eight prospects in this cycle. That means that multiple non-seniors from last year's squad are on their way out the door. Given the influx of guards, expect to see several players depart at those positions. R.J. Slawson may be in more of holding pattern given the uncertainty regarding the front court prospects and the general lack of depth at those positions. In short, we're going to have another largely new-look team next season.